A Union Pacific wooden bridge in Springfield, Ore. caught fire early yesterday morning, resulting in some damage, but trains are still able to use the bridge, albeit at slower speeds.
While the cause of the fire is unknown, officials speculate that it could have been started by a campfire adjacent to the bridge, or by sparks from a train that recently traversed the line. No injuries were reported.
Mike Caven, the battalion chief for the Eugene Springfield Fire Department, said that it took longer to put out the fire than normal, because the grease and creosote on the bridge meant that this was not a wood-based fire, but petroleum-based. However, the fire was extinguished in about 20 minutes.
The fire could have reached a nearby chemical plant, but it was out well before it could pose any threat to the plant.
Railroad and fire officials are inspecting the bridge, but there is no word yet on the extent of any repairs that may be needed.